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Turning a Thin Laptop into a slick Windows 8 machine

I do a lot of work with Zero clients and Thin Clients in my line of work. The manufacturer are great to work with, interaction is good and I’ve had great collaboration from a lot of them in the last 3+ years.

I’ve come across a lot of devices and I wanted to share with you a recent hack I did (hack in the old sense of the term (one of the Wikipedia definition: The hobbyist home computing community, focusing on hardware in the late 1970s)

I was using a Wyse Thin client X90mw (http://www.wyse.com/products/cloud-clients/mobile-clients/X90mw) and it was working great for applications like IE and connecting to a View desktop.

I then opened up the cover to take a look at the inside of that machine and I got a surprise, the internal storage memory was connected to a regular eSATA connector, like any regular laptop.

There was also a few small metal weights, to make it heavier on purpose (not sure why…)

So, I removed the internal storage memory and added my own 2.5′ 120gigs SSD hard drive.

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I then removed the memory in place and put in 2 * 8 gigs memory SDIMM, memory is cheap now, it wasn’t worth it to stay at 4 gigs, I bumped it up to 16 gigs for 70$.

The hard drive cost was also about 80$, so for 150$, I had all the additional hardware I needed to have a pretty solid laptop that I can use to install a full blown operating system.

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Last step is pretty easy, just install any Windows OS you like and you’re up and running. For me, it was an easy way to try out Windows 8 without impacting my production machine and get use to the new UI (I know, a lot of you will say it’s not possible). I learned to like the new UI, once you learned a lot of the shortcut keys, I was able to be almost as efficient with the new UI as I was with WinXP and Win7. You need to go there, read this link and take the time to learn the shortcuts (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows-8/keyboard-shortcuts).

Final screen, Windows 8 deployed on the Thin Laptop, very fast andv very slick.

 

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